Get great gift ideas from the Phandroid Holiday Gift Guide!


With the holiday season at the forefront of our calendars it’s important that you start looking for gifts now… and even yesterday for some of you. The process can be long and excruciating, and waiting too long to find what you want could result in frustration, desperation, and even minor bloodshed (things tend to get intense at those last minute checkout lanes!)

We at Phandroid want to do our part by helping you folks find the gifts that will be perfect for almost any Android-loving techie in your life. The Phandroid Holiday Gift Guide features gift ideas for a multitude of personalities, ranging from smartphones and Android-controlled quadricopters to wireless gaming peripherals and some killer tablets.

All the wares we want to feature won’t be revealed all at once, though — the revelation of the Phandroid Holiday Gift Guide will be gradual, and we’ll be taking the entire week to unwrap bits and pieces of it so you folks can savor and enjoy it more deeply than your typical Sunday morning circular.

Several members of the Phandroid staff, including Chris, Rob, Kevin, Edgar and yours truly, contributed several categories to this rich river of ideas based on our very own personalities.

Today, for instance, as a huge gamer and a general techie I’m going to be introducing the categories that will suggest gifts perfect for those types of folks in mind. I’ll also suggest other miscellaneous gifts that I personally wouldn’t mind having stuffed into my own stocking or neatly nestled beneath my own tree for the traditional Christmas morning wrapper massacre.

Below are just a few items from today’s featured categories, and remember that you can check the full list out by visiting the Phandroid Holiday Gift Guide homepage. Be sure to check back every day through the end of the week as the rest of the guide is unveiled!

The MOGA controller to fit (almost) every Android phone

One item you and your gaming friends will want to populate your holiday wish lists with is MOGA’s gaming controller for Android. A featured item from our gaming list and coming in at just $50, this little device is a Bluetooth enabled controller that can cradle many smartphones of varying sizes. The odd exception aside, the fact that it’s Bluetooth means it’s compatible with pretty much any Android device with firmware 2.3 or higher — and yes, that includes your tablets.

The sleek, stylish device features four face buttons, dual analog sticks and two shoulder buttons for maximum comfort and compatibility no matter which games you’re playing. There’s no internal battery, but the fact that you can swap out the two required AAA batteries at any time will prove to give most users more flexibility than they could hope for. (I suggest buying four rechargeable AAA batteries for seamless swapping.)

For your money you’re also getting free downloads of Namco’s Sonic CD and Pac-Man, two games that I’d say are well worth your time. MOGA’s Pivot App will also guide you to some games that are compatible with the controller (because what’s a gaming controller that can’t be used to play games, right?) You can find this thing for sale over at Amazon.com.

Share tunes anywhere with Jabra’s Solemate

When I reviewed the Jabra Solemate earlier this year I knew it’d be the perfect device to put under someone’s Christmas tree — that’s why I had no problem shoving it into my personal “fave five” of the Phandroid Holiday Gift Guide. It’s funky, cool, and relatively inexpensive if you’re in the market for something like this. It delivers exceptional sound while boasting a well-rounded and robust suite of features.

Popular names like Jawbone and Bose shine through but Jabra’s Solemate provides a healthy balance of performance, features and pricing. It costs $200 on Amazon as of the time of this writing, and the 4.5 star rating it currently enjoys should do well to ease your mind to let you know that whoever’s getting this thing for Christmas won’t be disappointed.

The fact that it pays homage to a tennis shoe will probably captivate your recipient first more than anything, but things like 8 hour battery life, full speakerphone capabilities and Bluetooth connectivity will likely make the Solemate one of their most used gifts this holiday season. Be sure to read our full review from earlier this year. You can find one at Amazon.com.

Get smarter climate control for your home with Nest

Although no season is too unpredictable for proper climate control, there is no time more crucial to pay attention to your home temperatures than winter. Making sure your home is properly cooled or heated is important to things such as the health of your plants, the stability of your pipes and the level of humidity in the air.

Nest’s smart thermostat has been proven to make life easier for those who find themselves fiddling about with the tired solutions of yesteryear. Its shining factor is the ability to “learn” your house-warming habits.

Nest can learn the times you leave for and return from work, and it will automatically set your temperature at those times to values it’s learned through everyday use. Nest knows when all the lights are out, and will automatically warm the house up a little if you tend to turn the heat on to combat cold winter nights.

Since Nest is WiFi-enabled you can use your Android smartphones and tablets to adjust the thermostat from any room within your home. And the geekiest of geeks on your Christmas list will find the process of installation more fun than anything as Nest requires a tad bit of tinkering with your heating and cooling system to get things going. Find more information about it over at Nest.com.

Those are just a few of the many gift ideas from today’s crop of categories being unveiled in the Phandroid Holiday Gift Guide! Remember, we’ll be unveiling new categories and staff picks from Kevin Krause, Rob Jackson, Chris Chavez and Edgar Cervantes every day throughout this week. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow, the next day, the day after that and so on to see what we think will light up the faces of your loved ones this holiday season. Happy holidays!

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Heyyyyy, what happened to Raveesh?

  2. <3 my NEST.

  3. $250 for a thermostat? no thank you. I can think of better android gifts to spent $250. really hoping my wife gets me the Andru wall/travel charger

    1. A thermostat that pays for itself. I wouldn’t give one as a gift but a free thermostat that looks great, saves money and I can control from my phone….sounds like a good deal to me.

    2. The Nest is no ordinary thermostat.

    3. As Quentyn said, the Nest is no ordinary thermostat. First of all, it is a very sleek device. It is by far the best looking thermostat. I understand your hesitation on spending money on a thermostat but think about how much you interact with your thermostat and how much money flows through it. A programmable t-stat is great for saving money but only when you program it, monitor it and adjust it as needed. However, many fail to do that. The Nest can be programmed but it will program itself to your schedule. I found that I would wake up, walk over to the t-stat and it had already gone to the temp that I was getting ready to set it to just like I do every morning. It learned my schedule. After using it all summer I compared my energy costs to the same months last year. The savings shocked me! My energy costs went down, on average, $70 per month. Impressive if you ask me. I like the looks, the ease of use and it is amazingly easy to use, the ability to adjust it via my computer, tablet and phone at home or on the go, the savings per month and the monthly energy report you get in your email. It’s great to see what energy you’re using, when, how much time your system ran and where you rank compared to other people. I like how it monitors the outside temp and weather as well to help keep your home at the temp you want. Check out all the ways it saves you money. There is one where it cycles your compressor to save money. Well worth the cost!

  4. Love the site and gift feature, but your phone and tablet guides are extremely out of date. Galaxy Nexus and Transformer Prime?

  5. Thank you for all of the great ideas, Quentyn. I know Black Friday is almost here, and I can find a lot of great gifts if I go, but I am scheduled for a late shift at DISH on that day; I won’t be able to get out to the mall. It looks like ill be doing most of my shopping online. We got both of our kids tablets last year, so I figured we would be safe if we got them some accessories this year. That MOGA controller looks perfect for our son; he is always playing games on his tablet. I think my daughter would love that Jabra, but we already got her a DISH Sling Adapter. She is always watching some TV show or movie, so I thought she might like the adapter. With it she can stream live TV and DVR recordings

  6. Yay!! It’s that time of the year again:) Will we be having the December daily giveaways this time around (like last year)?? That was fun. Disappointing for me in the end… but fun nonetheless;)

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